Thursday 21 February, 2002
Thursday 21 February 2002
At 1200, EST the Training Ship Empire State was located 193 nautical miles east of Ocean City,MD, at 38 degrees and 11 minutes North Latitude and 071 degrees 03 minutes West Longitude, steering course 038 degrees true at a speed of 15 knots/Rpm 68 turns. The weather was cloudy, winds from the southwest at 5 knots, air temperature was 62 degrees Fahrenheit, barometric pressure was 1012 millibars, seas were northeasterly at 5 to 6 feet, sea injection temperature was 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Depth of water beneath the keel was 1700 fathoms.
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
We have now almost home, and past time to talk about port security measures in the United States. Over the past six weeks we have been able to witness some of the efforts toward Homeland Security. Leaving New York and Massachusetts ports were pretty routine, since in each case we were dealing with our homeports and regulatory bodies that were familiar with our operations and procedures. But when we arrived at Norfolk, VA we saw a much different world. In that port we were challenged by US Coast Guard vessels, followed by US Naval vessels on occasion, and had to comply with new traffic control procedures under joint port operations - State, Navy and Coast Guard teams. On top of that were the newly created Naval Facility Safety Zones, or charted areas where no vessels could enter.
Vera Cruz and Ponce were less restrictive than Norfolk, but heightened security was evident. Port Everglades was a little different. While we saw less vessel and radio traffic outside the port, once within the port the security efforts became very obvious. Port Everglades is a separate entity unto itself, and responsible to the County and State. Although surrounded by Fort Lauderdale, it is governed by a Port Authority and policed by the County Sheriff's Department. The US Coast Guard has jurisdiction over marine safety for passengers and vessel documentation while the other Federal agencies (Customs, Immigration and Naturalization, and Agriculture) do their things.
Once on the dock, we immediately witnessed a whole bunch of new chain-link fence. Roads that were once open to our passage were now closed. Parking areas had vanished, and patrol cars and boats were very visible. Entering the port required identification checks, and in the evening the all gates were closed except one. To be honest, we had problems. To the parents reading these reports, you may feel a sense of relaxation that security measures were in place, however, if you were one of the many parents that could not gain access to the ship, and subsequently to your sons or daughters, you might feel differently.
One big problem was created when we were required to shift out of our first berth. This was known long ago, but the shift location had not been fully disclosed. On Saturday afternoon, we were moved to the southern portion of the port, another mile from the sun and fun of Fort Lauderdale. The location was a massive container facility. Problem was, they would not allow access to any vehicles or non-crew. Aboard ship we quickly adapted to the greater walking distance. Given that our move made us further from town, the Student Government Association and I teamed up and chartered a bus that would provide free transportation to our cadets and crew within the port. This helped to reduce a lot of walking, and also a lot of money on two-miles of cab fare. But parents and visitors were excluded from the ship's berth. Finally, I called about every person I could think of in the Port area, including the head Coast Guard Office in Miami - and we had an impromptu meeting on the dock. It was soon resolved that our students and parents did not represent a viable threat to US interests in the port. Cars and people were allowed through the gates once again.
Port security is a good thing. If a person bent upon disrupting commerce in southern Florida were to identify a target, it may well be in the port. Massive cruise ships carrying thousands of persons, or a large tanker with her belly full of oil, or the thousand foot long container ships - any damage might close the port. We need the security to be sure. But we need also to be rational and realistic about what a target is, and what could happen if it was targeted. Only then can we make the right choices.
-by 1/c Caryn Arnold
The days are starting to get colder again. The cadets are rolling down their sleeves, putting sweatshirts & jackets on and instead of wearing baseball caps they are switching to watch caps (winter ski hats). No more, "Hey we have a few minutes, let's go up to 2 hold and lay out". Instead, it's "Let's go down to the mess deck and get something hot to drink".
We are on our final stretch home and it is just about time. Friendships have been made, even some enemies, but everyone just needs a break away from each other. You can be the best of friends, but to live together for more then a week under these close conditions, tensions can rise. Difficulties will develop.
All the classes are finishing up and on Friday when the tests will all be given. So tonight should NOT be a fun night for most aboard! All the classrooms and even the mess deck will be filled with cadets trying to cram into their heads for just one night, everything that they were taught during cruise.
The assigned projects should all be done by then, and most of the freshmen will have made up their minds on what major they want to pursue when they return to campus. Some will say "Sea life is definitely not for me!", while others will say "I can't wait to go again." Regardless of the choice of major or the stack of work ahead, the smell of home is definitely in the air, the cadets as well as officers and the crew can't wait to see their family and friends. Then there is the baseball team and both the women's and the men's crew teams that will only have a half an hour or so to visit with their family before boarding a bus to Logan to eventually return to Florida. We (because I am also among the cadets going) will at least be among the first to get off the ship. We will be allowed to visit with our families for a short time and then head off to Boston to catch our plane back down south for one week of spring training before the season starts. Two and a wake up!
QUESTIONS FOR FRIDAY 22 FEBRUARY 2002
MATH: Cadet Van Etten had the watch. He maintained ship's speed at 4 knots for 12 nautical miles. Then he increased speed traveled the next 12 nautical miles at 6 knots. What was the average speed?
SCIENCE: How would the Cadets on Sea Term 2002 describe the Students in the World Wide Class room?
GEOGRAPHY: Where on earth will the Cadets be this weekend?
HISTORY: What can we call Sea Term 2002?
ANSWERS FOR THURSDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2002
MATH: C = pi x d C = 3.14 x 8000 C = 25, 120 or rounded off 25, 000 miles.
GEOGRAPHY: The name of the city was Port Royal. A major earthquake hit the port as well as the whole island. A major portion of the city sank beneath the ocean; the sea receded, and then rushed back to the land drowning hundreds of people.
HISTORY: The President of the United States in 1961 was John F. Kennedy. The invasion was attempted at the Bay of Pigs (Playa Giro). The invasion was unsuccessful. Within 72 hours all the members of the invading force surrendered.